Horst Reichenbach, the head of the EU’s Task Force for Greece, is also expected on the same day. The Finance Ministry is planning to present measures to reduce the size of the public sector via drastic moves such as mergers or closures of state corporations, which will result in job losses. An earlier plan to create a labor reserve scheme failed to achieve the results the government had hoped for and has effectively been abandoned. Finance Ministry data showed on Wednesday that the general government deficit for the first 11 months of 2011 stood at 22.8 billion euros (or 10.5 percent of GDP), down from 23.1 billion euros in the year to October.
The state budget posted a deficit of 24.8 billion euros. What is most disappointing, though, is that by the end of November there were no fewer than 73 state corporations that had not informed the ministry of their finances. On a more positive note, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Wednesday that inflation for the whole of 2011 closed at 3.3 percent after a 2.4 percent rate in December, which was mostly due to the dramatic drop in apparel product prices, compared to the year before, in the runup to Christmas.